Man who killed a pregnant sex worker in Ilford jailed for life

A man who killed a sex worker in Ilford has been jailed for life.

Farooq Shah was found guilty on 2nd June 2014 of stabbing to death Mariana Popa in Ilford Lane, Redbridge, shortly before midnight on 28th October 2013.

He was sentenced on 27th June 2014 at Woolwich Crown Court. He will be imprisoned for a minimum of 29 years for murder.

He was also sentenced to six years, to run concurrently, for carrying out a knife-point robbery a short distance away less than an hour before committing the murder.

Detective Inspector Darren Richards, the Investigating Officer, said: “Shah has never given any reason or expressed any remorse for killing Marian

Farooq Shah stabbed to death a pregnant sex worker

a. He’s given no reason because there was no reason, other than he’d armed himself with a knife and was prepared to use it that night. First he threatened a vulnerable man for his phone, then he attacked Mariana, thinking they were alone.

“Fortunately he was caught on camera and we were able to put together his movements and bring him before the courts. His callous murder has deprived a young daughter of her mother and a family of their loved one.”

Mariana Popa was a 24 year old Romanian national, who had arrived in the UK only weeks previously. She was a sex worker and was in the early stages of pregnancy at the time. She also had a six-year-old daughter. On the night of her death, local officers patrolling the area had spoken to her three times and issued her with a caution for soliciting.